Derek Trucks Talks New Album, Shares Lessons Learned From Life With the Allman Brothers Band
Trucks opened up about both chapters of that story during a recent interview with Rolling Stone, saying he'd just listened to the first completed mix of the Tedeschi Trucks Band's upcoming album, Let Me Get By, due out early next year.
"It's more adventurous sonically and in some of the places it goes musically. It's more of an extension of what we were doing with my solo group but evolved in a different group," Trucks hinted when asked about the new music. "I feel like I can see everybody — everybody's personality in the band — a lot more. It feels like hanging on the tour bus."
That outpouring of new material dovetailed with a discussion of why Trucks decided he needed to leave the Allmans — a decision he came to over a lengthy period of time and after many discussions with his fellow guitarist Warren Haynes. Pointing out that "the band wasn't in the mode of writing tunes or interested in making records" during the last decade or so of its existence, he reiterated a point he'd made to Ultimate Classic Rock earlier this year regarding his regret that the Allman Brothers Band never managed to make another album after 2003's Hittin' the Note.
"I love that [classic] material as much as anyone on earth. But I knew you can only do it so many times and feel like you're making a statement," Trucks said of the band's live set. "To me, the one big missed opportunity with that [last] incarnation was not making another record. Hittin' the Note was good, but there was a better record in there. Having a studio in my backyard where we could have easily recorded the band — between me and Warren, we would have crushed an Allman Brothers record. It only takes time. Get people down here, writing, focused. You have to be mentally into it. And it never came to pass."
Asked to sum up the lessons he learned during his time with the Allmans, Trucks reflected on the "forward-thinking and high concept" aspects of the group, such as the communal spirit with which the band members wrote and performed. "There's a way you think things should be, and there's a way the music industry does it. And they are pretty far apart. I've always been of that mindset — when you're writing tunes with people, there's a traditional way of chopping things up, and then there's the way that feels right. If people contribute, you hit 'em accordingly."
Trucks also admitted he learned a few things not to do, and used the festering grudges that drove out co-founding guitarist Dickey Betts as an example. Saying he and his life/musical partner Susan Tedeschi "have been really forward with our band," he cautioned, "When things come up, you deal with them. However uncomfortable that is, let's have this discussion right now."
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